Restrained, quiet, minimal sportswear? The idea of that ever happening at Blumarine
is as about as easy to imagine as Silvio Berlusconi taking holy orders. This runway is one of Milan's last holdouts for women who demand full-on good-time dressing with a cheerful disregard for polite moderation—and from the commercial point of view, it's all the better for it. For Fall, the house devices are animal prints, tons of flirty fringing, lots of leather, suede, and crystal studding—a collection that blithely follows the Balmain principle of flouting obscure intellectual fashion pieties for the sake of accessible excess.
In the stylist Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Anna Molinari, the house proprietor, has found a kindred spirit with a sense of humor and a clear idea of the point of it all. Just before the show went on, Cerf de Dudzeele declared, "J'adore
it all! It's for the kind of girl a man wants to follow in the street." Well, job done, for those who are after that kind of result—and as Blumarine's ever climbing, recession-busting sales figures are proving, there are plenty of women all over the world who do want exactly that.